President Bola Tinubu’s government has slammed the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the last election, Peter Obi, over his statement on the outcome of the Supreme Court verdict on petitions challenging the outcome of the Febuary 25 election.
The former Governor of Anambra State said the Supreme Court judgment amounted to a breach of confidence Nigerians have in the judiciary.
However, the presidency, in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, on Monday night, urged Peter Obi to consider taking a better vocation instead of casting aspersions on the judiciary, which he had once benefited from.
He said Peter Obi, having officially declared LP as an opposition party, was free to take another shot at the 2027 election and focus on issues and not religious or ethnic sentiments.
The statement reads:
“Labour Party Presidential candidate in the last election, Mr. Peter Obi, addressed a press conference, just like Atiku Abubakar, where he cast aspersions on the Supreme Court and the Independent National Electoral Commission for not declaring him the winner of the February 25, 2023 election. We are at a loss as to how the copy-cat Obi and his faction of Labour Party convinced themselves they won an election in which they came a distant third.
“The grand delusion that made Mr. Obi believe he could have won a national election where he ran the most hateful, divisive and polarising campaign that pitched Christians against Muslims and one ethnic group against the other in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society like Nigeria should be a matter for deeper examination.
“At the press conference where he tried, in vain, to gaslight Nigerians with false claims and innuendos, Mr. Obi contradicted himself. Here was a beneficiary of judicial pronouncements in the past now castigating the same court because its judgment did not go his way.
“Mr. Obi claimed the Supreme Court justices didn’t consider public opinion in delivering what has been applauded as a most profound judgement in an election appeal where the Labour Party candidate presented the most watery and unreasonable petition before any court in the history of electoral cases in Nigeria.
“He made false allegations of rigging and other electoral malpractices yet could not produce any evidence to back up his claims at both the court of first instance and at the apex court. In a failed effort to mobilise and retain the support of his supporters, Obi gave them a forlorn hope that he won the election and would prove it before the courts. Throughout the trial, his lawyers didn’t present any alternative results different from the results INEC uploaded on the IReV portal and the ones signed by all party agents from the 176,000 polling units.
“We wonder how the Labour Party candidate expected the courts to do justice on the basis of rumours, lies and false narratives by sponsored partisans and fanatical members of his Obidient Movement.
“We expected the Labour Party candidate to know that the Supreme Court or any other court does not give judgment based on public opinion and mob sentiments. Judicial pronouncements are based on evidence, precedents and the rule of law.
“Having admitted that the Supreme Court ruling brought an end to litigation and any challenge to the bona-fide of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the validly elected leader of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Obi should have congratulated President Tinubu for his victory and pledge his support, in the spirit of statesmanship.
“But instead, he brought up extraneous matters that he thought the apex court should have considered to declare him the winner. In our view, the drowning Obi, just like Atiku, was merely attempting to hold on to a straw in raking up new allegations, which exist only in his imagination and that of his hordes of supporters.
“Our admonition to Mr. Peter Obi is to find another worthwhile vocation to engage his time henceforth, having been rejected by majority of Nigerians who didn’t consider him qualified to lead our country. Nigerians rejected Peter Obi and his demagoguery at the poll because he posed present and future danger to the peace, progress and stability of our country.
“Obi’s antecedents as Governor of Anambra for eight years didn’t inspire any confidence as someone capable of running a country like Nigeria. No tangible records of achievement in the state he governed recommended him for the Presidency of Nigeria.
“If Mr. Peter Obi truly believes in Nigeria, the time to prove it is now when all men and women of goodwill are rallying support for President Tinubu in his determination to lead a new era of prosperity, inclusive governance and economic growth in Nigeria.